VCW’s Newsletter, December 8th

Children at play in daycare setting

Paid Sick Days Coalition’s Public Talks with Lawmakers
Wednesday, December 16th at 5:00 pm at Red Hen Bakery, 961 US-2, Middlesex
with Hosts Randy George and Eliza Cain, and Washington County Legislators

Business leaders and workers across the state want to show their support for the Healthy Workplaces Bill – H.187. The Paid Sick Days Coalition has invited local legislators and other public officials to talk with constituents about this bill. The Vermont House of Representatives passed it in April (see link above) and the bill is expected to be considered by the Senate in 2016. For more information, contact Annie Accettella at 518-729-0878.

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Vermont Commission on Women Seeks Legislative Interns

This student internship, assisting with monitoring legislation of concern to women and families, takes place during the 2016 legislative session (January – mid May) at the State House. Internships are unpaid, with a time commitment of approximately 8 – 10 hours per week. Interns must provide their own transportation to Montpelier. A complete description containing instructions to apply is available here. Read about our amazing interns through the years and the fabulous things they’ve done by scrolling down to the bottom of this page.

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Vermont State Employees’ Association Hiring a Full-Time Legislative Specialist

More information and a job description are available here.

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Windsor County Driver Restoration Day
Friday, December 11th from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm State Office Building at 118 Prospect St, WRJ

Any Windsor County resident who has had their license suspended due to a failure or inability to pay the associated fines will be able to get their license reinstated by paying $25 per outstanding ticket via money order or check, no cash will be accepted. People whose current suspension is a result of a DUI or certain other serious offenses are not eligible for this program.

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Workshop Proposals for the 2016 Women’s Leadership Conference, hosted by Vermont Women in Higher Education
Proposal deadline: Tuesday, December 14th online
Conference: March 31 – April 1, 2016 at Killington Grand Resort

The theme of the 2016 conference is “Power Up! Harness Your Power, Direct Your Energy, Electrify the World!” To submit a workshop proposal, consider the five themes on the online form, each with its own subcategories. Themes include Professional Development, Leadership Development, Personal Finance, Wellbeing, Inspiration & Aspiration, and Skillset Toolbox. Submissions that address these themes and subcategories receive the highest consideration. Contact Elaine Sopchak for more information.

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Legislative Breakfast with Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR)
Tuesday, December 15th, 8:30 – 10:00 am at Main Street Landing, Burlington Waterfront

VBSR members discuss the opportunities and challenges facing socially responsible businesses in Vermont and how the 2016 legislative session will impact issues such as climate change, economic development, education, and healthy workplace practices. VBSR will also unveil their 2016 legislative agenda. Learn more here, or by contacting Dan Barlow. Cost is $10 or free for VBSR members.

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Advocacy Matters: Transforming Our State Together Conference
Hosted by Voices for Vermont’s Children
January 7, 2016 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm at the Capitol Plaza Hotel, Montpelier

Conference opening speaker is Karen Tronsgard-Scott, Executive Director for the Vermont Network Against Domestic & Sexual Violence. For more information, please contact Voices for Vermont’s Children at 802-229-6377.

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Starting/Expanding/Improving Business Classes at Barre’s Capstone Community Action Capstone Community Action, 20 Gable Place, Barre
Contact Margaret Ferguson at 802-477-5214 for more information or to register.

Business Building Blocks: Training for Operating a Business
Mondays: January 11 & 25, 2016 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Pricing Your Product or Service for Profit – January 11
Learn how to evaluate pricing considering expenses and overhead as well as how to set 2016 profit goals.

Communication is Key to Building Your Business – January 25
How to get the word out about your business, develop an elevator speech, and craft a press release that’s ready for publication!

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Vermont Community Foundation recently issued a report “Opportunity: 11 Critical Paths for Philanthropy in Vermont”, read it here. 

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Change The Story Vermont (CTS) requests Vermont businesses complete an exceptionally brief survey related to women in leadership for our data project here – it’s only 7 quick questions! Read the latest news from (CTS) here! CTS is a multi-year strategy to align program, policy, and philanthropy to significantly improve women’s economic status in our state.

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The PA Conference for Women took place in October – the largest women’s conference in the state. Watch keynote speakers like Gloria Steinem, listen to podcasts with titles like “Mastering the Art of Endurance and Resiliency: Leadership Tips from Remarkable Women on the Front Line”, and “What’s Next? Strategies for Maximizing the Second Half of Life” here.

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Listen to VPR’s interview with UVM’s The Cynic student paper reporter Kelsey Neubaue describing a UVM employee’s Equal Pay Case

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Read New York Times article The Politics of Paid Time Off to Have a Baby, discussing changes in family leave from 1979 to today and the current political climate of paid family leave policies.

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Read United States Department of Labor’s Issue Brief on Older Women Workers and Economic Security. 

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Vermont Early Childhood Alliance is requesting that individuals click here to take a brief survey to tell them which issues on the Alliance’s 2016 Legislative Agenda you most care about so they can help you be informed and involved during the legislative session.

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Let’s Grow Kids released an infographic regarding Vermont’s current child care system, and includes that more than half of Vermont’s infants and toddlers likely to need child care do not have access to high-quality, affordable programs.

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Rhian Allvin Announced as Keynote Speaker for Early Childhood Day at the Legislature (ECDL)
Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

The Early Childhood Alliance and ECDL co-hosts Let’s Grow Kids and Building Bright Futures are pleased to announce Rhian Allvin as the keynote speaker at ECDL 2016. Ms. Allvin is Executive Director of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and an experienced policy analyst, systems builder and community organizer.

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Girls on the Run Announces New Middle School Funding Program

Girls on the Run Vermont
has been awarded new funding for sites interested in the Heart and Sole program, a 10-week program for grades 6-8 that focuses on the whole girl, promoting physical activity, team-building, making connections, goal setting, problem solving, emotional regulation, and self-care. All new and current Girls on the Run middle school sites are encouraged to apply for Heart & Sole funding. For more information, please call 802-246-1476 or e-mail Amy.

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Read Umbrella’s 2015 in Review newsletter here. Check out the Fundamentals class for child care providers from Umbrella’s Kingdom Childcare Connection. 

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Help the Vermont Historical Society (VHS) publish Seven Years of Grace by Sara Rath about the life of Achsa Sprague, a 19th c. spiritualist who lived in Plymouth Notch.

Sprague spoke publicly about women’s equality, prison reform, and abolition from 1854 until her death in 1862. (Up until now) there are no documented accounts of her life. Author Sarah Rath’s manuscript is grounded in the extensive collection of Sprague’s papers at the VHS and through VHS Vermont Women’s History database. Contact Jane Campbell to find out how you can help bring this intriguing Vermont woman’s work to light by making a contribution to the publication: (802) 479-8516 or Jane Campbell.

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Vermont Health Connect Open Enrollment until January 31st, 2016. Now is the time to enroll or renew your health plan through the exchange.

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Institute for Women’s Policy Research recently issued its 2015 Report on the Status of Women in the States and New State Resources, including state by state report cards and comparisons. They note that Vermont is one of three states that has never sent a woman to congress, but overall is tied as the 2nd best state for women overall, and second place for reproductive rights. 

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Did you know that more than 25,000 Vermont children don’t always have access to enough food? Click here to learn more about the food insecurity challenges facing so many Vermonters, and how Hunger Free Vermont is addressing that great need. Click here to find the location of your local food shelf – consider a holiday donation.

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released the Vermont Health Gaps Report, which ranks Vermont’s 14 counties on physical, behavioral, and sexual health. The report includes data regarding the number of avoidable premature deaths if residents had access to the health care of other counties, and reports that 24% of premature deaths in Orleans County could have been avoided.

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Dartmouth-Hitchcock Women’s Health Resource Center offers numerous classes and support groups for women; their event calendar is available here.